The one and only Lois Lane
Margot Kidder, who became famous for playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in Superman, has died at her home in Montana. Kidder was 69; her acting career spanned decades, from TV series in the late 1960s to seven films in the past five years.
A cause of death has not yet been publicly released for Kidder. Her death was announced by the Franzen-Davis Funeral Home in Livingston, Mont., where she resided.
“The actress and activist passed away on Sun., May 13, 2018 at her home,” the funeral home said.
Margaret Ruth Kidder was born in Canada and honed her acting skills on TV shows such as McQueen, Nichols, Banacek and Mod Squad before becoming a movie star.
After landing a lead role in Brian de Palma’s Sisters in 1972, Kidder’s film career took off. It hit the stratosphere six years later, when she appeared as Lois Lane in the launching of the Superman film franchise. She went on to appear in three sequels over the next nine years.
Famous for her smoky voice and for portraying smart, indomitable characters, Kidder also struggled with addiction and bipolar disorder for much of her life. She suffered from a famous breakdown in 1996, when she disappeared for several days. When police found her in Glendale, Calif., she was hiding in the bushes behind a house.
After Kidder recovered from that incident, she became an advocate for mental health awareness.
“I’m not saying it’s all over,” Kidder told People magazineafter her life derailed in 1996. “I’m saying this is the pattern of my life. In three years I might be having another wig-out. I have no idea. I just have to accept the fact that this is me, or I ain’t gonna make it.”
Kidder went to take dozens of other acting jobs, from recurring roles on TV’s Boston Common in 1997 to 2009’s Halloween II.
For decades, Kidder had lived in a log cabin near Livingston. In addition to promoting mental health issues, she spoke publicly as an anti-war and environmental activist.
Margot Kidder, who played Lois Lane in the 1978 “Superman” movie, died Sunday, according to CNN. She was 69 years old.
Her manager said she died peacefully in her sleep.
Kidder starred alongside Christopher Reeve in the Superman films that were released in the 1980s, including “Superman” (1978), “Superman II” (1980), “Superman III” (1983) and “Superman IV: The Quest for Peace” (1987).
Kidder also starred in “The Amityville Horror” in 1979, and worked steadily in stage and television.
She often spoke about the normalcy of stardom and the simplicity of the limelight. We’ve collected six quotes from Kidder on stardom, fame and the important things in life. Note: The Deseret News collected these quotes from IMDB.
- “I suppose that if you want to be famous and suddenly it happens and you don’t like it, it’s nobody’s fault but your own.”
- “Acting’s fun, but life’s more important.”
- “The thing about being famous is, first of all, it’s weird. The only people who get how weird it is are other famous people. So there’s this unspoken club where you go, and say to each other: ‘Oh God, if they only knew how ordinary I was, they wouldn’t https://www.vanityfair.com/hollywood/2018/05/margot-kidder-lois-lane-in-memoriambeinterested.’”
- “With any group of people in life, sad things happen, and crazy things, and happy things. When you’re in the public eye, it’s just amplified, that’s all. There’s no curse.”
- “What happened to me — the biggest nervous breakdown in history, bar possibly Vivien Leigh’s — is not so uncommon. I’ve had thousands of supportive letters from all over the world. It’s just that mine was public. If you’re gonna fall apart, do it in your own bedroom.”
- “When you’re young you think that’s how life works. None of us were famous, we were broke. We didn’t think they’d be writing books about us in 30 years. We were just kids doing the right thing.”
Margot Kidder, who died May 13 at the age of 69, was just one Lois Lane in a string of many—preceded by black-and-white Loises Noel Neill and Phyllis Coates, and succeeded by Kate Bosworth,Amy Adams, and even Teri Hatcher. But Kidder did it best; like her co-star Christopher Reeve, she became the canonical version of the comic-book character, the definitive version her successors would have to contend with.
There are countless reasons why Richard Donner’s Superman (1978) and Superman II (1980, but especially the 2006 director’s cut)—
arguably the first modern superhero films—work beautifully. But much of their success rests on Donner’s interpretation of his hero’s relationship with Lois Lane. In these films, Lois and Clark aren’t simply living a recurring Scarlet Pimpernel scenario, where the hero’s love interest is constantly being lied to; instead, they take a more active journey of mutually approached intimacy.
This dynamic wouldn’t work as well without Reeve’s Superman, who makes toggling between valiant Superman and doofy Clark Kent look easy. But it would have been impossible without Kidder’s saucy, determined messiness, her vocal fry, and constantly disheveled hair. Kidder played a human woman who could believably both attract and deserve a man who is canonically perfect, with the physique of a Greek god and the moral compass of a saint.
Where Reeve was always carefully articulate, both as Superman and as Clark, the Daily Planet’s chief lackey, Kidder’s Lois is casual, breezy, and down-to-earth, with a working-girl sensibility that took no nonsense—and delivered none, either. She’s distracted, effective, and ambitious; when she meets Clark in the first Superman,she’s immediately defensive, because it looks that he’s there to take her job. Kidder played the role as an update of Hildy in His Girl Friday, but with grace notes of delicate fragility. And she’s also our eyes in the film: we see Superman the way Lois does. She openly admires his appearance; she analyzes his actions, both as Superman and Clark Kent; and she literally interviews him, on her balcony, in a scene where it seems as if her brain is moving so fast that her body can hardly keep up.
It’s an unabashedly sexual scene—and in a reversal of the norm, here, it’s the woman who wants sex more than the man. He’s implacably cool, while she’s practically jumping out of her skin. In 1995, Kevin Smith’s Mallrats would cover, in tortuous detail, the physical mechanics of Lois Lane having sex with Superman: “Do you think her fallopian tubes could handle his sperm? I guarantee he blows a load like a shotgun right through her back.” But in 1978, Kidder’s Lois was already thinking about the mechanics. “How big are you?” she asks the hero, abruptly, shortly after asking his marital status. And then, with nervous affectation, and a flushed face, she stammers: “I assume then, that the—the rest of your bodily functions are normal?”
Superman is almost as much a romantic comedy as it is a superhero film; all it needs is Joan Cusack playing workaholic Lois’s high-strung best friend. Even as she’s falling for Superman, Lois remains comically suspicious of Clark Kent; when he asks editor Perry White (Jackie Cooper) to send half of his check home to his mother in Iowa, Lois is certain the money’s really going to a bookie. At the end of their first day together, she almost physically trips over his use of the word “swell.” And even when she’s interviewing Superman, she’s cynical about his mission statement: truth, justice, and the American Way.
It’s not exactly that Lois is a pure cynic; her dedication to journalism suggests otherwise. Instead, it’s that Kidder’s Lois Lane doesn’t have much faith in men. Her romance with Superman requires her to believe in the goodness of one particular person (well, alien)—even, and especially, because he has power that could crush her. The sequence when Superman takes Lois flying plays out from her perspective, allowing the camera to interpret the wonder of his power through her human eyes. But first, she has to let herself be carried. She purposefully withdraws her hand from his grasp—and of course falls, and of course has to be rescued again. It’s coquettish, maybe, but Kidder plays the whole thing sincerely, like she’s trying to figure out the answer to a question. The scene reveals coy flirtation as the battleground where women can test men’s integrity.
Dr. Amanda Walker
Madam Badeau (segment “The Psychic”)
Mrs. Katerina Marmelodov
Dr. Josephine Mataros- Termination (2001) … Dr. Josephine Mataros
Miss Holton / Marla Cooke
Mrs. Jones (voice)
Cookie de Varen / Cookie De Varen
Sally ‘Mom’ Cima
Margret Mary (uncredited)
Woman in Washroom (uncredited)
Dinah / Jennie Jerome
Marcia Curtis / Old wife
Brigit Slattery / Thelma Slattery
Danielle Breton / Dominique Blanchion
Ruth / Ruth the Barmaid
Sportscar Driver / Dr. Janet Rhodes